Scoop: Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel escorted out of the RNC retreat
During this weekend’s highly anticipated donor retreat hosted by the Republican National Committee in Palm Beach, Ohio Senate candidate Josh Mandel was escorted from the premises while his main antagonist, Jane Timken, was allowed to remain, two sources of direct knowledge the situation, said Axios What we hear: The invitation-only event is taking place at the Four Seasons Resort and the RNC has reserved the entire hotel. While Timken, former Ohio GOP chairman, was invited to the event “because she’s a major donor,” Mandel wasn’t, so one of the sources said he was asked to catch up on the latest market trends and economic intelligence from Axios -Markets. Subscribe for Free Though Mandel didn’t have his name on the list, he took the opportunity to meet with the best Republican donors while they were all in one place. Axios was informed by a source familiar with his plans. However, when the first event officially began on Friday evening at the hotel, Mandel and others who had no IDs were asked to leave the hotel. A spokesman for the RNC declined to comment. Mandel’s team did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Between the lines: Retreat attendees not only have access to major donors, but key party actors, including former President Trump. On Saturday evening, the group will travel to Mar-a-Lago, where Trump will exchange comments and mingle with the participants. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, will also speak. Why It Matters: The incident gives Timken more visibility and access to Trump, which is crucial as he continues to be the rainmaker and most influential player in the party. It also underscores how Trump’s efforts to keep the GOP going has turned all interactions with donors into high stakes. Background: Trump previously showed an interest in supporting Timken but was ultimately stopped by his son Donald Trump Jr. and other top advisors. Mandel and Timken have long been hugely pro-Trump, and both are vying to get the former president’s endorsement – which could be the deciding factor in who wins the race to replace Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio), who recently announced admitted that he will not run for re-election. Do you like this article? Get more from Axios and subscribe to Axios Markets for free.